This once moated Hall dates back 820 years. The name Ordsall appears in print in 1177 as ‘Ordeshala’. There was probably a house at Ordsall by 1251 when William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, exchanged the manor for land in Pendleton.
– The Radclyffe family have been connected with the hall for over 300 years.
– 1335 – The manor passed into the hands of the Radclyffe family, first twenty years of their ownership were very confused because there were several claimants
– 1354 – Sir John Radclyffe established his right to inherit the estate on his return from the French wars
– Some members of the family sat in Parliament as Knights of the Shire and Sir Alexander was High Sheriff of Lancashire on 4 occasions.
Most were knighted for services in battle and took part in court life: for instance, Margaret Radclyffe became a favourite Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth
– 1599 Death of Margaret Radclyffe (semi state funeral) reputedly died of a broken heart after being jilted at the altar. Grief stricken, she apparently climbed the stairs of the Great Hall and threw herself off.
– The Radclyffes were Royalists and Catholics and according to local legend, (in 1605) Guy Fawkes hatched his plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament while staying at the hall. Such has this legend gained credibility that the street directly adjacent to the hall has been named ‘Guy Fawkes Street’. This story, however, has neither been proved or disproved.
– In 1875 the hall was let to Haworth’s Mill for use as a Working Men’s Club
– In 1959 it was sold to Salford Corp. by executors of Baron Egerton and underwent major restoration work
– In 1972 opened to the public as a period house and local history museum
– In the Great Hall, there has often been seen the apparition of a white lady on the raised staging. This could possibly the ghost of heartbroken Margaret Radclyffe.
– Locals have seen this White Lady in the grounds at the front of the Hall.
– A monk has also been see here, and the figure of another lady have also been spotted here.
– There is the occasional smell of roses and lavender in the Great Hall, even when no-one is around.
– Dragging sounds have been heard coming from area under the stairs of the Entrance Hall.
– In the Agecroft Gallery, Footsteps have been heard and one night the security camera (activated by movement sensors) kept pointing at the area where portraits of the ladies are.
– In the temporary exhibition area visitors have heard the sound of a door being opened and closed.
– In the attic, people have reported feeling uneasy and unwell – the feeling then passes quickly.
– Dragging sounds are occasionally heard in what used to be the Oak Pannelled room.
First Broadcast: 2nd November 2004